Tag Archives: Gift Ideas

5 Impressive DIY Mother’s Day Gifts in An Hour or Less!


Moms make the world go round. Dads, mentors, teachers, and grandparents are pretty important, too, but for this weekend let’s hear it for moms! Mothers come in all shapes and sizes, and they all find their own paths to motherhood. But all you moms out there, you know who you are. We know who you are, too. And thank you.

For the special mom or moms in your life, nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like a homemade gift. Save the store-bought candles and Apple products (or whatever your mama is into) for another occasion. It takes a bit more time and planning to make your own gift, but here are 5 DIY presents you can do in an hour or less! All of the projects include ginger, an ingredient which you may have noticed we are absolutely obsessed with of late.

1. Ginger Body Scrub (Beautiful With Brains)

The special mama in your life will love the all-natural feel, scent, and exfoliating power of this homemade body scrub. So many beauty products these days are packed with parabens and other chemicals, and it can be hard to feel luxurious and toxin-free at the same time. Make your own skin products and voilà! Problem solved! Present the scrub to Mom in an elegant glass jar, and she’ll feel utterly pampered.

2. Rhubarb Ginger Jam (Witchin’ in the Kitchen)

A tangy, zesty, and impeccably classy jar of jam for spreading on toast, mixing in oatmeal, and eating by the spoonful. Try using ginger powder instead of the root for the same spicing effect, minus the labor of peeling and mincing. And you can cut the ingredient measurements way down to make a single jar serving. Feel free to skip the water bath step if you and mama will enjoy within a couple weeks.

3. Ginger Scalp Treatment (Wakaya Perfection)

Ginger is believed to help stimulate circulation, which can lead to hair growth. Mix the ingredients up for this recipe and present it to Mom in a chic jar or bottle. Try making a custom label, too! It’ll look like something you got from the salon, but will be made with all natural ingredients, zero chemicals, and by the loving hands of YOU!

4. Ginger Cashew Granola (Alaska From Scratch)

Yum. And healthy! Ginger, quinoa, cashews, coconut oil… ‘Nuff said. Bake up a big batch of this and gift it to mama in a jar, clear cellophane bag with ribbon, or straight in the bowl with yogurt or milk for a delicious Mother’s Day breakfast. You’re bound to make more than one gift’s worth, so bag up the rest of it for all the moms in the neighborhood! (Or sneak the rest home with you.)

5. Mint-Ginger Lemonade (Wakaya Perfection)

If it’s starting to get warm where you are (or even if it isn’t!) nothing says summer like a big glass of lemonade. Double, triple, or quadruple this recipe, and pour it in a big, elegant carafe so Mom can enjoy its freshness all week. If your mama is adventurous, she can even pour in a touch of vodka for the perfect lemon drop martini!

 * * *

Mother’s day is just around the corner. Wakaya Perfection makes a great gift for Mom whether she enjoys a Zingarita, a hot cup of tea or a soothing ginger bath! Check out http://wakayaperfection.com for recipes and homemade gift ideas featuring Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger. Use the promo code HAPPYMOM and receive 15% off your next purchase!

Wakaya Perfection Ginger Powder has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times Gift GuideOprah’s favorite things and may more!

Gifts That Give Back: The World In You

Go on.  Have a holiday of true indulgence. Linger long in the luxury of life’s finest offerings. Do something that feels good all over, even in the hard to reach spots. Chocolate and cashmere are so 2010 — why not kick the counterfeit pleasures this year and go all-in for something more than skin deep?

Give a gift that only you can give. It’s your choice what you give and what you ask for. Yours alone. Make the decision meaningful for you and for others.

Give kindness. Give respect. Give time. Give support. You’ll be wowed by what you get in return.  Don’t worry about the size of your effort, but do make the effort. Make action your present.

It won’t take much.  A simple “High Five” can help transform the life of an adolescent girl in Malawi, Ethiopia, Guatemala, or Liberia.  Give five dollars, tell five friends, learn five things about her life, and you’ll be adding up to something huge.  You’ll join American girls and their families across America in improving the health, safety, education, and life prospects for these vibrant young women around the world.  These American girls and their peers around the world share similar dreams.  Regardless of where a girl lives, she needs to know we believe in her.

As a teenager, I was lucky enough to have a mom who inspired me with the notion that any future was in reach.  Her love gave me confidence.  That faith in myself is the greatest gift she’s given me.  The greatest, but the easiest in a way, as anyone can give love, even from thousands of miles away. The Girl Up campaign gives you the opportunity to be a part of transforming lives. There are millions of girls who need to know they matter to you. Don’t miss your chance to tell them. Invest in their futures at GirlUp.org. It’s an offer of a lifetime.

Let me leave you with one more idea.  As I was just reflecting on own my mother, I realize that I don’t say thank you to her nearly enough. I don’t remind her of how grateful I am, nor how proud I am, to have been blessed with her constant presence in my life. So, I want to take a moment to thank her. I’d like also to honor the work she does, which makes her a constant presence in the lives of so many others. 

She is CEO of a non-profit company called Diagnostics for All (DFA).  DFA embeds health tests on a piece of paper the size of a postage stamp. Just prick a finger, touch the paper, read the results, then dispose of the test with the light of a match.  No refrigeration, no electricity, no transport is needed.  Thus, DFA is a critical link in delivering affordable, appropriate, timely health responses to people in the developing world. One can’t treat disease without a sound diagnosis, right?  DFA’s simple, cheap, efficient, and clean technology can save millions of dollars and millions of lives. Like the sound of that, give DFA a hand too!

Yes, she is one cool mom.  A gift.

This week on Intentblog, we will be featuring 1-2 new blog posts a day that will give you ideas for gifts that give back this holiday season: charities you can donate to, products you can buy that give back to worthy causes, and more. Check back every day this week until December 25 for more blog posts on gifts that give back. 

Last Minute Gifts Om Gals And Guys Love

To help you finish any last-minute shopping, I enrolled a few “om elves” to share their wish lists. I asked for inexpensive but fantastic finds, over-the-top indulgences, and things that bring Zen. Here are a few of the highlights:

Little and Light

A beautiful candle in a decadent scent can be a great way to indulge friends without stressing your wallet. My elves covet various candles. The Voluspa line is an excellent choice, for its modest prices, unique fragrance combinations, and scents so lovely they’re intoxicating. My pick of the season: White Currant Quince. (Available on Amazon).

Something to Write

Even something as small and practical as a notepad becomes an expression of good taste and a nod to creative giants Matisse, Van Gogh, and Hemingway (all original fans of the brand) with Moleskine pocket “cahiers.” My friend, Daisy, a graduate student in architecture, chose these so that she can sketch and scribble in style.

Glitter to Do Good

It would figure that my fashionable and fleet-of-foot marathon training pal, Cara, would select these sparkling shoes by TOMS, to add a dash of glamour to her otherwise athletic wardrobe (she’s an executive at lululemon). A multi-tasker to the core, Cara’s gift does good while looking fab; with each pair of TOMS purchased, the company provides a pair of shoes to a child in need.

A Llama, a Bunny, or Some Sweet Honeybees

While finishing her first book, Yoga for Emotional Balance, debuting on March 8, 2011 (Shambhala Publications), Bo Forbes underwent her fair share of sleep deprivation and social life sacrificing. So, you might guess that she’s hoping for some pampering this holiday. Perhaps a spa day? Or an over-the-top tropical trip where the only crucial item on her agenda might be to reapply sunscreen? Nay, friends. That would be soooo un-Bo. Instead, she suggests making a contribution to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that donates sheep, llamas, bees, bunnies, and more to help families in developing countries become more self-sustainable.

For the Run

A more predictable wish list item came from Om Bro, Reece. As a child, he never liked shoes, to the point that I recall he and my Dad having a stand-off on Christmas Eve circa 1987. Reece was adamant that he did not want to wear shoes, despite the fact that it was winter, and a special occasion, and, oh yeah, there was snow on the ground. Hence, some 20+ years later, Reece wants Vibram Five Fingers, to simulate the feeling of running barefoot through the streets of Manhattan, in the winter, on all occasions, likely with snow on the ground.

For the Yum

Reece also said he’d appreciate organic, fair trade chocolate. Which begs the question: Who wouldn’t want organic, fair trade chocolate?

OG intern, Jess, hopes for a sweet holiday, too, with a few new tools for her vegan kitchen, including Gingerbread Yogi Cutters (above) for delicious cookies in the shape of yoga poses, Lunch Bots stainless steel containers to tote her healthy creations on-the-go, and the mothership of kitchen appliances, a Vitamix high-performance blender.

To Have Some Fun

A fashionista gal and outdoorsy dude, respectively, both shared wearable wish list items that scream fun, albeit in different ways. Jessica, who manages the Beacon Hill boutique, Wish, swoons for party dresses like this one by Rebecca Taylor (top), which kinda screams, “I’m sassy; smooch me under the mistletoe!” Meanwhile, outdoorsy dude, John, pines for a puffy jacket by Cloudveil (bottom) for screaming down the slopes.

Turn Inward

A high school English teacher, mother of two adult children and one teen, former serial marathoner, longtime yogi, and all-around community builder, my friend Abigail hopes she’ll steal some time to sit still and read during the holiday break. Fittingly enough, she hopes Santa delivers Go In and In, a book of poetry written while the author retreated at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA, a favorite spot of mine.

Get Away

Speaking of which, Abigail would love of a weekend at Kripalu. To which, I say, “Ditto.”

Say Ommmm

The youngest om elf, 16-year-old, Alli, is also hoping to receive the gift of yoga. “Zen would be my mom paying for four or five yoga classes over [holiday] break.”

What’s on your wish list?

Ten Fitness-Friendly Gifts for Friends and Family

 Step. Away. From. The. Cookie! The holidays can be a difficult time to maintain both your weight and your commitment to your fitness regimen. If you have a friend or family member who is health-conscious, consider one of these great items to help them stay on track. 

Personalized Stainless Steel Water BottleHelp your friend, neighbor, teacher or family member stay hydrated and help save the environment too! Plus, with this personalized version, they will be able to easily recognize their own bottle at the gym. Four color choices and many options for personalization.
Dark Chocolate. It may seem counterintuitive to give chocolate to a person who is concerned about their health, but actually dark chocolate has many health benefits, and hey, even the fitness freak needs to indulge every once in a while! Renowned physician Dr. Andrew Weil says, “Good dark chocolate (with at least 70 percent cocoa) really is a healthy treat you could consider, especially for the women on your list (chocolate consistently ranks as the number one craving among women).” Furthermore, Weil says, chocolate is rich in antioxidants and its flavonoids are good for the heart.
Whole Foods Gift CertificateThe grocery and health food market, Whole Foods, was recently named the number one place to shop in the country for the most healthy food options. Delight the healthy friend or family member on your list with one of these coveted cards!

Collapsible Measuring Cups and SpoonsPortion control is crucial to maintaining a diet and a healthy weight. Why not make it easier for someone to keep track of what they are eating by giving these handy, easy-to-transport measuring cups and spoons?

Fitness or Healthy Cooking Magazine Subscriptions. A great gift for a health and/or fitness buff that keeps giving all year! Some popular titles include Fitness, Men’s Health, and Cooking Light

Fitness Journal. Help them keep track of their progress and stay committed to their program with this handy journal. “Write it down, make it happen!” The journal is comprised of twelve weeks, so that your recipient can set attainable goals. It is also only 5.5” so it is easily transportable.
Ginger Therapy Spa Gift Basket. There is nothing better after a tough workout than a long soak in a fragrant tub or spa. This basket’s goodies (lotion, body wash, bath salts, and facial soap) are infused with ginger. It not only smells wonderfully, but ginger is also thought to alleviate high blood pressure, among other health benefits.
Gourmet Fruit and Nut Boxes. Dried fruits and nuts are packed with protein and vitamins and healthy fat, nutrients which encourage people to stay active. There are many beautiful nut and fruit gifts that will be appreciated, like this one from The Superior Nut Store
Digital Pedometers are a fantastic way to help someone effortlessly keep track and set fitness goals. This one, from Omronhas “dual sensor technology, which allows it to be carried in your pocket or bag” (as opposed to older models that had to be strapped to your person). It also counts calories while you exercise. Now there’s a motivator!
iTunes Personalized Holiday Gift Card.  Anyone who works out regularly knows that one of the keys to keeping exercising interesting is to have good music to accompany you. Even those of us with vast libraries tend to look for something fresh, so consider an iTunes Gift Card, which you can personalize with a special holiday message of encouragement for the coming year! 


10 Edible, Prepare Ahead Gifts For Christmas

I don’t know about you, but a gift from a foodie is always welcomed in my house. I love the thoughtfulness it takes to prepare these gifts. Fortunately, I have a lot of friends who love to cook (and eat). Here are some of my favorite gifts from my friends from around the world.

Bollywood Coconut Curry Popcorn Seasoning. Give this spicy-sweet popcorn seasoning to a friend! The curry and coconut blend to make something like an Indian Kettle Corn. Give in a pretty jar with the recipe and let your friend or family member experience a new flavor as they watch their favorite holiday movies.
Cranberry Pear ChutneyA perfect hostess gift! This chutney goes with just about everything, from turkey to pork to chicken, so even if you don’t know the main course, it’s likely to go perfectly with whatever he or she is serving. Cranberries, pears, and a pistachio nut mix simmer in cinnamon, allspice, and brown sugar. It only takes five minutes to prepare and 35 minutes to cook, another plus during the busy holiday season! 
Homemade Cranberry LiqueurWhat a lovely gift to bring to a holiday party! This homemade liqueur is very easy to make. Just combine whole cranberries, vodka, water, sugar, and lime zest and let steep for four days. Give in a pretty bottle, perhaps with a couple of elegant glasses. Cheers!

Spiced Pears in Raspberry VinegarFill your home with the wonderful aroma of simmering pears in raspberry vinegar. This recipe is very easy to make. Just cook pears in water with sugar, a cinnamon stick, cloves, raspberry vinegar and peppercorns. Fill sterilized mason jars with the pears, and wrap with a pretty ribbon and perhaps a personalized sticker on top. Voila, and Merry Christmas!

Confetti Bean Soup in a JarSuch a nice gift to receive! Colorful layers of limas, pintos, black, and pink beans are combined with spices. All they need to do is put the beans in a crock pot and go about their day. Dinner will be ready in just a few hours; a nice thing to come home to after a long day of shopping.


Gourmet Olive Oil Bread DipBread is ubiquitous at holiday tables. Pep up that loaf by giving a gift of premium olive oil infused with herbs. Not only do they taste great, they are elegant as well, and can be both used and displayed throughout the year.
Apple Almond Rice MixThis savory rice mix will surely be enjoyed by its lucky recipient. Layers of rice, almonds and fruit look beautiful in a dressed-up jar. The fragrant combination will fill their homes, and the tasty side-dish will grace their plates. 
Christmas Muffin MixHow nice it would be to wake up and be able to quickly pop in this yummy muffin mix into the oven on a busy holiday morning! The aroma of cinnamon, pecans, and tropical fruit will have the family flocking to the kitchen!

Holiday Cranberry JamA surprising, tangy blend of cranberries, oranges, and strawberries…this jam is scrumptious on bread or muffins, great for brunch or just as a snack. Consider creating basket that includes a jar of the jam, a crusty loaf of bread, and knives for spreading, and perhaps a small cutting board. 

Salted Chocolate CaramelsThis is a gift that won’t last long! Smooth caramels are drenched in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkled with flaky sea salt. A buttery, indulgent delight!



Six Unique Photo Gift Ideas: Give Lasting Memories this Christmas

Most of us take lots of pictures: we have dozens on our phones, on our laptops, and posted on Facebook, Flikr, and Shutterfly. But in our Digital Age, a picture that you can hold in your hands is becoming almost as rare as a handwritten letter. Instead of releasing your beloved moments into the cloud, print some out and create gifts that will remain tangible for years to come. Here are six gift ideas for your cherished photographs:

Light Affectionsturns a photograph into a magical light.” You really have to go to the website to see the gif of this unique item in action, but here is a description of how the process works from their page:
·      Based on your photo, we carve an everlasting one-of-a-kind piece. The carved pieces are assembled into photo frames of your choice and are illuminated to create unique personalized photo gifts. The carved piece magically comes alive when illuminated from behind. The varying thicknesses of the translucent material create the illusion of the personalized original image.

Picture Evolution will create custom backgrounds and give your ordinary photographs unique and surprising settings. There are dozens of different options, including photo collage.
Canvass Tote BagsThey will never wonder which bag is belongs to them at the beach or anywhere else with these great totes. Your gift recipient can use them for groceries, overnight trips, or as carry-on luggage. With over 500 choices for borders, you can give many different totes as gifts, but each can be uniquely created for its recipient.

Photo SculpturesMake your memories of friends and family literally stand-out…. In 3-D. You can even have a special photo “cartoonized”!

Personalized Photo Calendars from Photobox.  This calendar company can include pictures of friends and family on special days, not just on the month’s feature photograph. Surprise a friend or family member by surreptitiously copying the photos they have posted online and have one made for them!

Personalized Mousepads are a great way to stay close to your loved one as they toil away at the office!


Forget The Long Lines And Crazy Parking: Give Your Loved Ones A Gift Online

In the age of the internet, gone are your excuses for not remembering someone special with a gift during the holidays. You need not fight crowds at malls or elbow your way into a post office. You can find the perfect item from the comfort of your own home. However, with the myriad choices to comb through, you might get discouraged. Fear not! Here are six great gift ideas, all available while you shop your pajamas and enjoy your morning coffee.

Netflix Gift SubscriptionWho doesn’t love movies? You can give a Netflix subscription for a month, a year, or anywhere in between. One month costs only $9.99 and a full year is $118.88

iTunes Gift CardGot a teenager or college student on your list? You can’t go wrong with an iTunes gift card. Buy them online in increments of $15 – $100 dollars. They come in a variety of styles, the newest features The Beatles!

Amazon.com Gift CardsLet the lucky recipient choose from a wide variety of options: books, audiobooks, music, toys, housewares, clothing, electronics and more! Gift cards start at $10 but go all the way up to $5,000! Plus, Amazon offers instant email notifications, so even if you wait until the very last minute, you can get it all done.

Pandora Internet Radio SubscriptionFor just $36 a year, give the gift of high quality audio, commercial-free, internet radio. Pandora is easily customizable for the most enjoyable radio experience they will ever have!

Harry and David Fruit of the Month Club.  Every moth, Harry and David promises to deliver “top quality fruit, brimming with flavor” to your friends or family members. Monthly selections depend on what is in season, but include delicacies such as tropical pineapple, sweet grapefruit, juicy pears, and more. Prices range from $99 to $299 dollars. Standard shipping delivery charges are included in your gift subscription costs.

Audible.com Gift SubscriptionAudio books are wonderful for the busy person who loves to read but spends time stuck commuting or doing other things where reading, either in print or on an e-reader, is impractical. Consider giving them an audible.com certificate. Audible.com’s audio books can be downloaded to a variety of audio players and costs only $7.49 a month.


Ten Do-It-Yourself Edible Gifts for the Holidays

Even though life can become crazily busy, It seems that everyone wants to slow down just a bit during the holiday season and enjoy some comforts of life that often elude us during the rest of the year. For foodies, those who love to cook and/or eat, Christmastime brings pleasures to quite literally be savored. Give some comfort and delight to a friend or loved one with one of these delicious homemade gifts.


1.     Mixed Berry JamA beautiful and savory gift that can be enjoyed for quite a long time, jam is not difficult to make and is not expensive. All you need is one pound of strawberries, 1 pound of mixed berries, a fresh lemon and sugar. Buy some canning jars and lids and print out free labels which you can customize here.


Bodacious BBQ Sauce. Most men love to grill. Many men can be difficult to shop for. Solve your male gift-buying dilemmas by making your own savory barbeque sauce! It will be free of the preservatives found in commercial brands, and you can customize the spices to your (and his) liking. Create decorative jars for a special touch. Watch the “BBQ Pit Boys” video here to see just how it’s done!

3.     New Orleans PralinesA sweet and nutty Southern favorite, pralines are delicious and easy to make. Stack some in a tower, wrap with colorful holiday plastic wrap and tie up the top with a curly ribbon. These are perfect for teachers, office co-workers, and others you want to remember with a holiday treat.

4.      Rosemary Infused VodkaAll you need for this unusual and surprising gift is vodka, rosemary and 3-5 days for the infusion to complete. Martini, anyone?

5.     Spice RubsGood spice combinations can make ho-hum meals come alive. Consider making several spice rubs and give them as a gift for a busy friend or family member who likes to cook but is pressed for time. He or she will thank you all year!


6.      Raspberry French Chocolate Macaroons. Ahhh… the combination of raspberry and chocolate is so delicious. Make some of these beautiful and festive macaroons for someone special. They look more difficult to make than they really are. You don’t even need a real pastry bag to do so… an improvised one will do.

7.      Zesty Cheese StrawsLight and delicious, this gift is sure to be gobbled up by its lucky recipient. All you need is butter, cheddar, salt, flour and cayenne pepper. And a decorative jar for giving, of course!

8.      Curried Lentil SoupBeautiful colors are layered in this Mason jar for a festive gift that is sure to please, especially for someone who loves home cooking but is too busy to assemble the ingredients personally. A great winter warm up for a special person on your list.

9.     Fragrant Indian BrittleGive this tasty, exotic gift to an adventuresome foodie. Cardamom and honey embrace pistachios, cashews, and almonds in a golden brittle.

10.  Spicy Hot Cocoa MixWho doesn’t love hot chocolate on a cold day? This spin on a classic favorite adds cayenne pepper for a kick that pairs wonderfully with the sweetness of cocoa. You might want to present your gift as pictured here, in a large mug with a pretty spoon and some candy canes.


10 Cute and Sweet Little Gifts To Give To Your Significant Other Out Of The Blue Just ‘Cuz

Somebody wise once said the secret to happiness is having constant fun treats. You don’t need the excuse of Valentine’s Day, a birthday or an upcoming anniversary date to give a fun romantic gift to your significant other.

Never underestimate the power of a sweet little gift that comes out of nowhere with no ceremonial strings attached. A small, thoughtful gift spurred by romantic spontaneity can completely turn around a bad day for the recipient. For the giver–just the act of giving works wonders as well! Plus, relationships with a lot of mutual giving are much more likely to last longer than couples who only think about their own self-centered needs. Talk about major win-win.

1. A sweet treat. Who doesn’t love free sugary goodies? No matter how old you are, a cookie, brownie or a donut that comes out of nowhere is sure to make your significant other smile. (It definitely does for me!) 

2. A mini-houseplant or herb plant in a pot. Flowers are awesome and everything–it’s just too bad they’re gone after a week or two. A mini house plant, on the other hand, can lasts for months with proper watering and sunlight, and brighten any room. If it’s a basil plant or a mint plant, the leaves can also provide fresh herbs for your significant other’s cooking (and your future home-cooked romantic dinners).

3. An actual photograph you can hold in your hands. With the immense popularity of free online photo albums, there is almost no reason to physically print photos anymore. Go retro by printing out a cute couple photo that your sweetie can actually pin on the bedroom wall, or frame it in the living room, or stick on the refrigerator.

4. A useful home appliance. One of the most thoughtful spontaneous gifts I recently received: much-needed outlet plugs for my new studio apartment from my boyfriend. Major AWWW! Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend needs something for his or her living space–CFL lightbulbs, extension cords, batteries, a kitchen scrubber, whatever–but just hasn’t gotten around to getting it. And you can fill in that need out of the blue because you are just so darn thoughtful and sweet like that.

5. A song or album or two. Music always makes for a great picker-upper. Your relationship always needs a new song to its never-ending soundtrack–and you can be the one to share with your significant other a happy one.

6. A book from the library that your significant other has been meaning to read. Has your other half been meaning to pick up Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book or some other recent bestseller for months but just hasn’t gotten around to it? Pick it up from the library and offer to return it when it’s done.

7. An actual hand-written something. Saying "I love you" in e-mail or text is one thing–actually writing it in your own penmanship is so much more. Even if it’s just a little Post-It note with a drawn heart stuck to the bathroom mirror, little gestures of aww go a long way.

8. A desperately needed grocery item. Because sometimes your sweetheart gets swamped with life and doesn’t have time to drive by the grocery store to get milk, eggs, bread, cereal, whatever. Nothing says "I love you" like that unexpected carton of soy milk (in your favorite flavor and brand) chilling in the refrigerator out of nowhere.

9. A caffeinated treat. Sometimes shelling out those four or five bucks of those hard-earned dollars for that fancy-schmancy frappucino is a total pain. But when your love-bug swings by your place with some whipped-cream caffeinated goodness at the door, knowing that you’ve been keeping yourself alive with crummy office coffee for the last two weeks? Pure joy.

10. A bottle of wine. It seriously doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. And a bottle of wine that comes out of nowhere really requires no explanation.

What are some of the most thoughtful spontaneous gifts you’ve ever received? What are your best so-cute-I-wanna-vomit ideas for surprising your romantic partner-in-crime? Share your lovey-dovey thoughts with the community by commenting below!

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / ericmmartin

A Mother’s Day Present That Gives Back

 It happens about this time every year. Suddenly you realize Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and you have no idea what to get for dear old Mom. Well this year the Marion Institute is offering a unique alternative to the same old greeting card and flowers. Their Mastate Charitable Foundation is currently running a campaign for Mother’s Day that not only gives you a great gift idea, but helps others as well.


Mastatal is a small community in rural Costa Rica about two and a half hours from San José, and the Mastate Charitable Foundation for has been working to improve the living conditions there for the past four years. Their most recent endeavor is to build a Community Learning and Sharing Center (CLSC), which aims to serve as a social center in the town, as well as a library and meeting place. That’s where you come in.

The CLSC building in Mastatal will be naturally built using local labor and resources. In honor of Mother’s Day, The Mastate Charitable Foundation is selling daub bricks that will be used in the construction of this building that will help so many families. Each brick is $4, and you can buy one (or as many as you like) for the CLSC in honor of your mother for an original and unique gift idea. It takes 5,000 bricks to build the entire CLSC, and the Mastate Charitable Foundation hopes to sell as many as possible to try to reach their goal.

Perhaps buying your mom some daub bricks wasn’t the first thing that came to your mind when you thought about Mother’s Day presents, but the reality is that it’s a thoughtful and different gift that most moms would appreciate. The mothers in Mastatal are trying to give their community and their children the best opportunities they possibly can, so why not give your mother a gift that helps other mothers as well?

For more information, follow the Mastate Charitable Foundation on Facebook.



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